Throwback: NCAA "Sweet 16" Post Game Press Conference
Big Rapids, Mich. - Longtime Ferris State University men's ice hockey head coach Bob Daniels was recently chosen as the national runner-up for the American Hockey Coaches Association's (AHCA) prestigious Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Men's Ice Hockey STX/AHCA Coach of the Year.
Daniels, a previous two-time winner of the annual award presented to college hockey's most outstanding coach, led the Bulldogs to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season Championship in the school's debut season in the league and guided FSU to an NCAA Elite Eight finish.
This year's Spencer Penrose Award recipient was Union College head coach Rick Bennett, who led his team to the national championship. The award was presented this past Saturday (May 3) during the AHCA's annual convention in Naples, Fla.
The Spencer Penrose Award is named in memory of the Colorado Springs benefactor who built the Broadmoor Hotel Complex, site of the first ten NCAA championship hockey tournaments. All AHCA Coach of the Year awards are selected by the head coaches in each division and are sponsored by STX.
Chosen as the WCHA Coach of the Year this campaign, Daniels led the Bulldogs to the regular season title as first-year league members. In his 22nd season at the helm, the two-time National Coach of the Year Award recipient guided the Bulldogs to their second conference championship in the last three years as FSU became only the third program ever to win both the WCHA and the former Central Collegiate Hockey Association titles. The Bulldogs led the league race from wire-to-wire in claiming the fabled MacNaughton Cup and securing the number one seed for the league playoffs. During the 2013-14 season, the Bulldogs established a new school record under Daniels with a nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak, which lasted from late October until early January. Ferris State did not drop a conference game until the middle of January and the Bulldogs finished the regular-season with a first-place 20-6-2 league slate.
Under Daniels' leadership, Ferris State posted one of the nation's best overall record and recorded the second-most wins in school history with a 29-11-3 overall record. FSU came within a game of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in three years and also reached the WCHA Final Five Championship game at Van Andel Arena in Big Rapids. Ferris State was the lone team from the state of Michigan to reach the NCAA Tournament this campaign and one of only two schools from the WCHA along with Minnesota State.
This past season, the Bulldogs owned one of the country's top marks on home ice with a 16-1-1 record inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU, ranked as high as second and among the nation's top 10 teams each of the last 18 weeks, went unbeaten at home (13-0-1) in conference action and posted its sixth-straight season with increased home attendance. This season's average of 2,141 fans per game was its best in 32 years.
Previously, Daniels claimed the Spencer Penrose Award after guiding FSU to its first-ever league championship by winning the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in 2002-03. He then received the award again two seasons ago in 2011-12 after leading the Bulldogs to the CCHA regular-season crown, a historic first NCAA Frozen Four appearance and a berth in the national championship game. He was also a two-time CCHA Coach of the Year Award winner and a two-time league coach of the year award finalist.
A 1982 graduate of Michigan State University, Daniels got his coaching start in junior hockey, three times earning Coach of the Year honors for the Hennessey Engineers of the North American League from 1983-1986. He earned a master's degree in sports organization while serving as a graduate assistant at Miami University during the 1986-87 season. From there, he spent two years as an assistant at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Daniels first arrived at Ferris State in 1989 and served as an assistant under John Perpich for one year and Bob Mancini for two. He was named head coach in 1992 and has won 379 games at the Bulldog helm to date. His 2002-03 Bulldog squad compiled a program-best 31-10-1 overall mark in 2002-03.
The longest serving coach in FSU history, Daniels has coached 10 All-Americans, including 2003 Hobey Baker Hat Trick Award Finalist Chris Kunitz, the first ever CCHA Player of the Year to come from Ferris State. Daniels has also been very active with USA Hockey and the American Hockey Coaches Association.
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